Pedder, Thomas — ?-1680


The Pedders of Preston
Over the course of two hundred years the Pedder family rose to prominence in the town, founding its first bank and entering the ranks of the gentry. The main branch of the family faced ruin when the bank collapsed in 1861, but fortunes were salvaged and the family entered the 20th century with their privileges intact.
The Pedders of Preston


The entry for the marriage of Thomas Peddar and Elizabeth Feilden in the Preston Parish Church register (since this was still three years before the restoration of Charles II, the marriage, as was the form at the time, was registered by the mayor Seth Blackhurst, not by a church minister. ‘Ancestry.Co.UK – Lancashire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812’.

The ancestor of the extensive Pedder family of Preston was a Thomas Pedder who first appears in the town records on 16 May 1657 when a Thomas Peddar ‘gent. soldier’ (the transcription is uncertain) married Elizabeth Feilden of Friargate, the daughter of Richard Feilden. 1 On 16 August of the following year the couple registered the burial of their infant daughter Joan; in the register he is described as ‘a troop[er] under Cap[tai]n Lynley’, and his wife’s name is given as Elizabeth Feilden. 2 A second child, Richard, was baptised on 26 October 1659, and in the register Thomas is again listed as a gentleman soldier. 3 Elizabeth died in 1661 and in the register entry for 20 October 1661 she is described as ‘Feilden’s daughter’ and Thomas’s occupation is given as soldier. 4

The two descriptions of Thomas as a gentleman do not fit with the other references to him in the records, where he is accorded none of the marks of gentry status: he ended his life an innkeeper, the father of two sons, one a weaver and the other a shoemaker.

Thomas would appear to have remarried, for a Thomas Pedder, son of Thomas, was baptised at the parish church on 17 February 1666/7 and an Alice Peddar, wife of Thomas, was buried 7 November 1678, at the church. 5 According to Henry Fishwick, Thomas married as his third wife Dorothy Postlethwaite on 29 September 1679, however, the name of the bridegroom is now unreadable in the Ancestry image of the page 6. The couple had one child, Elizabeth, baptised 11 April 1680 7 , after the death of her father who was buried on 18 February 1679/80. 8

Dorothy and Thomas’s eldest son Richard had the task of sorting out his affairs after his death, and a detailed inventory of all his worldly goods, in which he was described as innkeeper, was prepared (see below). The four neighbours who carried out the valuation, who all signed with their mark, arrived at a total of £52 9s. 8p, which included £24 ‘ready money in the house’. The description of goods, itemised down to ‘2 ould Brushes’, suggests Thomas kept a fairly lowly establishment. His will has not survived. 9

Early in the 18th century the Pedder family owned property at the lower end of Friargate, including five houses across from the present Lune Street and another house, also on the north side of Friargate, named The Holy Lamb (grandson Richard‘s will). This last could possibly be Thomas’s inn, but I have found no other trace of a Holy Lamb in Friargate, although there are others in different parts of the town (see Steve Halliwell’s encyclopaedic guide to the history of Preston’s pubs). The inventory below lists the sign board as stowed in an upper chamber, which might suggest that the inn had ceased trading at the time of his death.

Richard and Thomas Pedder are described as the sons of the late Thomas Pedder in the 1682 guild roll. 10 It is probable that the Thomas Pother and his son Richard in Abram’s transcription of the 1662 roll was Thomas Pedder. He paid an entrance fee of £4, which meant he established residence in the town after the previous guild of 1642. 11 Fishwick transcribes the name as ‘Thos. Pether’, which strengthens the link. 12 An even stronger confirmation is that his son Richard signed his will Richard Pether, and in the document is named Richard Pether alias Pedder.

Thomas features in the Preston court leet records beginning with the April 1664 session when he was one of many townsfolk fined for not attending the previous session. And at the October 1665 session it was reported:

That John Woods did strike at Richard Gary and upon ye said Richard Draw blood and upon ye same Thomas Peeder coming onto him and asking him why he wold doe soe to a Stranger his reply was that hee wold serve him also in the like mannr thereupon wth a rule that ye said Woods had in his hand he strike likewise at ye said Thomas Pedder and upon his head draw blood these offences being done in the ffaire time in October last wch being to the breach of his Ma(jes)ties peace for the wch offences he is to pay foure pounds.

Thomas made his first appearance on the court jury at the October 1667 session. 13

The inventory of Thomas Pedder’s inn

At this period, according to the National Archives historical currency converter, a pound was roughly equal to £114 in 2022 money. There are a few gaps and uncertainties in my transcription: I would be grateful for any suggestions.

Inventory of the goods of Thomas Pedder innkeeper 1697
The inventory of Thomas Pedder’s worldly goods at his death. Image courtesy of Lancashire Archives.
Goods in the fire houselsd
One cupboard001200
Five throne chairs and one hewd [?] chair000700
One fall chair000206
Six old cushions with feathers in000200
Four cushions with straw in000200
One …, one … and two old brushes000300
One seeing glass000108
One birding piece000400
One warming pan000400
One fire iron, one crowe tong and fire shovel, one pair of bellows, one gridle, two salt pies, three toasting irons, smoothing iron and heaters, one …, two …, with all the rest of the things in the chimney range001600
One salt chest000100
In the kitchen   
One brewing lead and lids001304
Six old cups and a kimble000600
One table and three shelves000306
Two buffet stools, one sealed stool, three other little stools and a little tresse?000106
One stone trough000206
Three piggins, one t…, one can, one old lantern and a pair of playing tables000206
Three axes, one hook, two hammers, 2 trowels and other odd ironware with a spade000108
One brass pot, one posnet, two great brass pans and three little ones001800
All the earthenware000106
One mortar and pestle000500
Two drink … … sieves, three baskets, wiskets and a little box000100
A tin candlestick and a wire one000004
In the Buttery   
All the pewter in weight 68lb011600
Six barrels000600
One meal tub & nine shelves000400
One dishcrate ?, dishes, trenchers, cans and other wooden things000306
Four white metal dishes, a glass case, glasses and a shelf000206
One table, one form, benches, some little pieces of wood, one fire iron and tongs in the parlor000800
A little table in Law. Baleys000300
 08158
Goods in the matted chamber   
One stand bed, curtains, valance, matt cords and curtain rods010000
One feather bed, one bolster and two pillows010000
One pair of old blankets and a yellow caddow000600
One old chaff bed000100
One ? table and five cushions000600
One cabinet and a box000106
Two chests000800
Two covered back chairs, two covered stools and a buffet stool000500
One fire iron and some picktures [pictures?]000106
Goods in the sign chamber   
One stand bed, curtains, valance, matt cords and curtain rods001600
One feather bed, one bolster and two pillows001600
One gray rug000206
0ne truckle bed, two feather bolsters, one chaff bed and two old coverings000600
One great chest001304
One trunk and three boxes000106
Two sealed stools and a form000106
One little seeing glass000006
One pillion, two wantows, one spinning wheel and all other things in the garret000304
Goods in the Kitchen Chamber   
One stand bed, curtains valance, matt cords and curtain rods001800
One feather bed, one bolster and one pillow001500
One chaff bed, one chaff bolster, a blanket and a green caddow000608
One table and form001200
Two chairs and four old cushions000104
A little old fire iron000006
In the Buttery Chamber   
One pair of bedstocks000306
One feather bed, a bolster and a pillow001504
The books000600
One black gown, two hats, a black waistcoat, four coverings for stools and one yard of ticking001304
Twelve pair of canvas sheets, four pair of linen sheets, six linen pillowbeers, ten canvas napkins, four canvas towels, one linen tablecloth, one canvas tablecloth and three flaxen napkins031708
One silver bowl and three spoons, in weight 12 ounces021400
The sign board000500
Ready money in the house240000
All the decedents apparel020000
 431400
 081508
 520908

Glossary

OED = Oxford English Dictionary; EDD = English Dialect Dictionary

Brewing lead – Yorkshire Historical Dictionary has ‘A leaden vessel used in brewing’.

Caddow – OED has ‘a rough woollen covering’.

Chaff bed – OED has ‘a bed or mattress stuffed with chaff’.

Crow tong – little information on this item, although Amazon  https://www.amazon.co.uk/watou-asia-Crow-Tongs-120-mm/dp/B07DDF3RYN does have crow tongs for sale!

Fire House – OED has ‘A room in a house, containing the main fireplace’.

Kimble – a dialect word for which EDD offers two meanings: ‘a washing-tub or tray’ or ‘a sieve with a handle, used for the home-dressing of flour’.

Mat cords – OED has a definition for ‘mat’: ‘An underlay for a bed; esp. a coarse piece of sacking on which a feather bed is laid. Frequently in mat and cord. Obsolete’. In inventories the words are usually separated as in ‘mat and cord’, the cords providing the base and the mat laid across them.

Meal tub – OED has ‘A tub for storing meal’.

Piggin – OED has ‘A (small) pail or similar vessel, esp. a wooden one with one stave longer than the rest serving as a handle; a vessel of this sort used as a milking pail. Also: a (wooden) drinking vessel; a scoop or ladle consisting of a can with a handle on the side; a lading-can’.

Pillion – OED has ‘A type of saddle, spec. a light saddle used by women. Also: a pad or cushion attached behind a saddle, on which a second person may ride, or to which luggage may be fastened’.

Pillowbeer – Yorkshire Historical Dictionary has this as pillow-bere, anotherword for pillow case.

Posnet – OED has ‘A small metal pot or vessel for boiling, having a handle and three feet’.

Salt pie – OED lists this as a dialect word for salt-box.

Truckle bed – OED has ‘A low bed running on truckles or castors, usually pushed beneath a high or ‘standing’ bed when not in use; a trundle-bed’.

Wisket – OED has ‘Local name for a basket, of various kinds and uses’.

Wantow – OED has ‘A rope or band placed round the belly of a horse, mule, etc., and used to fasten the pack on a packsaddle or a load on the back of the animal; a girth or bellyband’.


1 ‘Ancestry.Co.Uk – Lancashire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812’, accessed 28 July 2022, https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/2478/images/4185567_00510?treeid=&personid=&rc=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=tvg59&_phstart=successSource&pId=59683476.

2 ‘St John, Preston, Burials 1642-1682, Page 154, Entry 6. Source: Original Register at Lancashire Archives’, n.d., https://www.lan-opc.org.uk/indexp.html.

3 ‘St John, Preston, Baptisms 1642 – 1725, Page 167, Entry 7. Source: Original Register at Lancashire Archives’, n.d., https://www.lan-opc.org.uk/indexp.html.

4 ‘St John, Preston, Burials 1642 – 1682, Page 186, Entry 5. Source: Original Register at Lancashire Archives’, n.d., https://www.lan-opc.org.uk/indexp.html.

5 ‘St John, Preston, Burials 1642 – 1682, Page 186, Entry 5. Source: Original Register at Lancashire Archives’.

6 Henry Fishwick, The History of the Parish of Garstang in the County of Lancaster – Part 1 (Chetham Society, 1878), 87, https://archive.org/details/historyparishga01fishgoog/page/n16/mode/2up; ‘St John Parish Register’, 29 September 1679, https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/2478/images/4185567_00647?treeid=&personid=&rc=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=dkN2&_phstart=successSource&pId=4780507.

7 ‘St John Preston Parish Records’, 11 April 1680, https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/2478/images/4185567_00652?treeid=&personid=&rc=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=dkN2&_phstart=successSource&pId=4780507.

8 ‘St John, Preston, Burials 1642 – 1682, Page 336, Entry 9. Source: Original Register at Lancashire Archives’, n.d., https://www.lan-opc.org.uk/indexp.html.

9 ‘WRW/A/R65C/1 – Thomas Pedder’, 8 March 1679, Lancashire Archives, https://archivecat.lancashire.gov.uk/calmview/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=W%2fRW%2fA%2fR65C%2f1&pos=1.

10 W. A. Abram, The Rolls of Burgesses at the Guilds Merchant of the Borough of Preston, Co. of Lancaster, 1397-1682 (Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 1884), 173, https://archive.org/details/rollsburgessesa00langoog.

11 Abram, 134, 158.

12 Fishwick, The History of the Parish of Garstang in the County of Lancaster – Part 1, 87.

13 David Berry, ed., ‘Preston Court Leet Records’, n.d., http://c5110394.myzen.co.uk/mw/index.php?title=Main_Page.

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